Binging the Backlist: Blackest Gold by R. Scarlett

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Welcome back to Binging the Backlist! This month I decided to read the Blackest Gold series by R. Scarlett. Ever since I read her Filthy Gods novella, I’ve been curious to read more of Scarlett’s works so I decided to pick up her debut series this month and give it a go. I know this series is well-beloved by a lot of readers so I went into this series with some pretty high expectations. Unfortunately, those expectations were not quite met and I’m low key a little frustrated because this will be the second month in a row where I binge-read a series that didn’t live up to its hype for me! Anyways, let’s get this review started!

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So I don’t think I’ve ever said this before but the paranormal genre used to be my first love and I was very obsessed with paranormal books as a teen. Vampires, werewolves, ghosts, mermaids—if it’s paranormal then I was most likely reading it. These stories didn’t even have to have any romance, I just liked to read stories about all the thinks that go bump in the night. But then after I finished binge-reading the Twilight series at sixteen, I kind of just fell off the paranormal genre wagon and I couldn’t get myself to read any other paranormal books. I couldn’t get myself to read any books for that matter but that’s a story for another time. Any who, the main point to my rambling is that it’s been quite a long time since I read any paranormal book so I was both excited and nervous to be back in this genre to see if my first love would still spark joy like it once did.

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I did not like the writing style in Vein of Love. It was very choppy, it didn’t have a good flow and there were also some issues when it came to POV and I wasn’t sure if the book was meant to be written in first person or third person. It also read like a young adult book more than a new adult one. I don’t know how to explain it but I went into this book expected some NC-17 shit but it was more along the lines of PG-13 if that makes any sense, lol. 

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Our heroine Molly is just a mess. But first, a quick overview! This series revolves around Molly Darling and Tensley Knight. Molly is a daemon and basically she’s this rare creature who has “blessed eyes” and she holds a lot of power. Tensley is a demon and he’s here to collect on a deal that Molly’s ancestor had made with Tensley’s ancestors 300 years ago. Tensley informs Molly that she is now his fiancé and he has to protect her so other demons don’t take her to use her for her powers. Now that’s out of the way, back to what I saying. Molly’s a mess in this first book and she ends up making numerous bad decisions that not only almost get her killed, but also puts Tensley’s life in danger and it was like watching a car crash happen in slow motion. 

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I had a really hard time with the first book in this series. There were a lot of things that didn’t work for me in this first book and I wasn’t invested in any of the characters by the end of book. I was however curious about the cliffhanger and I wanted to see how those events would play out in the next book which is why I kept reading the series.

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I went into this sequel really hoping that Scarlett would turn things up a notch and there would be more action going down in this sequel. Yo girl wanted to see some battles and to be shocked by some crazy plot twists—LIKE GIVE ME SOMETHING!

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Molly and Tensley’s relationship in the first two books in this series was intense, and intense I mean I was frustrated at these two constantly fighting when deep down they both knew they just wanted to suck faces, lol. They’re kind of like that T-Swift song, We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together, minus the constant breaking up and getting back together. One minute, things are going great between Molly and Tensley and then the next, Tensley does a 360 and he’s telling Molly to fuck off. I get wanting to build up the romance with a lot of angst but this wasn’t angst, this was just two people constantly fighting over dumb shit.

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I was so frustrated at the fact that no one was teaching Molly how to use her powers. Like all the demons are constantly talking about how “powerful” daemons are yet somehow no one seems to know what daemons are truly capable of. I get that daemon’s are rare creatures but still, it’s been centuries, we should at least have some knowledge of all the things daemons can do. Also, if someone taught Molly how to use her powers, she would’ve been able to defend herself from these damn hunters and all them other folks who wanted her dead. 

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This is something that made completely no sense to me while reading this book! There were numerous scenes where Molly would walk into a bar and she would order herself a drink and I’m just sitting here flabbergasted because I know damn well no bars are serving nineteen-year-olds in NYC. I know the drinking age in Canada may be 19 but it’s still 21 in the US.

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I’ve heard quite a lot of things about Tensley Knight and I went into this series expecting him to be this bad ass demon who knew how to get my heart going but I kind of found him to be rather childish at times. All the demons in the book have a “inner beast” and its the reason why they’re so bad because the beast craves power and doesn’t play by the rule and even though Tensley claims his inner beast is bad, it really wasn’t. I was bored with Tensley, honestly. He was all bark, no bite.

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No surprise here, but the second book also ends with a cliffhanger which is the only reason why I kept reading. I hate cliffhangers because my nosy ass always needs to know how a story is gonna be wrapped up. So there I went, continuing onto the third book and hoping things would pick up in that book.

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This is just total random commentary but I don’t feel like the book cover match what is actually inside the book. Like I see these covers and I think “dark” and “sexy” and these books are anything but. Just my two cents about that.

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So you see how I said earlier that I went into the third book hoping things would finally pick up? Well, R. Scarlett must’ve heard my whining because shit hit the fan in A Vow of Thorns. The series goes in a whole new direction that I was not expecting as we are taken into a new world known as the High Court and I was living for it!

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This was another thing that bothered me. Molly would talk about finishing her undergrad degree early and this series starts out just as Molly turned 19 so how is she expecting to finish her undergrad so soon? Did she start college earlier? Was she taking classes every semester? Like the timeline isn’t making sense to me. Again, random commentary but it was brought up enough time that it bothered me so I had to mention it.

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A Vow of Thorns is probably my favorite book in this series because THINGS FINALLY HAPPEN IN THIS BOOK! The action that I was so desperately waiting for was finally going down and I was both stressed and excited. Tensions were running high and Molly and Tensley were finally working together in order to keep themselves and their family and friends safe. I know I’m saying finally a lot but it’s literally what I kept saying while reading this book—FINALLY

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The ending for the third book left me with my jaw on the floor and that’s all I’m saying about that!

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This was the only thought I had going into the final book in this series because I really just wanted to know what the fuck Molly was capable of. Hell, even Molly was still dying to know what she was capable of, lol. I wanted to see a bad ass daemon raise hell dammit!

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It may have took four books to get her shit together, but I felt like Molly finally started coming into her own and found her voice in this book. Molly did not come to play in this book. She was taking names and she wasn’t bowing to no bitch in this book! I also felt like other characters really started respecting her in this book too and it wasn’t like a respect out of fear, but rather a genuine respect the—respect she deserved!

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For me, the way this series came to an end was predictable. I can’t really go into detail without spoiling the ending but basically the way the conflict was resolved was not surprising. It was really was the only option Molly and Tensley had left if they were to be successful in achieving the life they truly wanted.

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After finishing Blacked Gold series, I’m still a little undecided about how I feel about this series. Things started off rocky and then got better in the middle and then the ending was just meh. I think my biggest critic about this series was the fact that the world building was very lacking. It needed more structure and maybe even a better explanation on powers and hierarchies. Like I’m still not too sure what Molly’s true powers are other than the fact that her eyes can control demons. I know there’s gonna be a spin-off series in the future but I’m not too sure if I’ll be picking it up. Maybe I’ll wait for the series to be complete and then binge-read it and review it, lol.

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VEIN OF LOVE: ★★★
BODY OF THE CRIME: ★★★
A VOW OF THORNS: ★★★½
TO CROWN A BEAST: ★★★½

Have you read the Blackest Gold series yet? If not, are you planning on reading this series in the future? Let me know in the comments below!

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I'm Ari, a local NYC bibliophile and a forever daydreamer. You can usually find me with my nose buried in a book and my head up in the clouds. I am also a coffee addict and a chocolate connoisseur. I fell in love with the romance genre about three years ago and I haven't been able to stop reading about happily-ever-afters, which is ironic because I'm a bit of a cynical romantic in real life, haha. I hope you all enjoy my blog and fangirling with me about all the smutty reads!

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